Travel Tips

5 tips to simplify your winter travel

By | Simplify Your Travel, Travel Tips

Chasing the sun this winter? Planning ahead can ensure your flight gives you a vacation from stress as well as from local weather, says Nanaimo Airport’s Customer Care team.

The airport offers a convenient starting point for central Islanders looking to avoid congestion at larger airports, where lineups are long during the busiest travel time of the year. The central Island’s airport of choice offers hundreds of connecting flights through Air Canada and WestJet. And you don’t need an expensive ferry ride/hotel stay to take one.

To help your travel go smoothly, the Customer Care team offers the following tips:

    1. Arrive early
      Get to Nanaimo Airport at least 90 minutes before your flight. If you’re driving yourself, allow a few more minutes to park.
    2. Go through security as soon as you can
      More people travelling means more people – and baggage – going through security screening. Fortunately, the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA), which is responsible for screening, upgraded its system earlier this year to handle more volume. Even with the extra capacity, it’s a good idea to go through security early. You can then relax in the expanded departure lounge. There you’ll find TVs, a play area for kids, and food and beverage machines.
    3. Know what you can bring on board
      Not sure about the rules for liquids and gels? (Hint: If they’re smaller than 100ml, they can go in your carry-on.) CATSA provides a handy search tool for determining what you can bring on a flight at
    4. Check your flight and paperwork
      Before you leave for the airport, be sure to visit your airline’s website for up-to-the-minute flight information. And make sure you have the necessary paperwork for air travel.
    5. Ask for help
      Nanaimo Airport’s Customer Care team and volunteer Blue Navigators (in the bright blue vests) are on duty in the air terminal building to answer your questions.


5 Reasons To Fly Local

By | Travel Tips

Santa wants you to know his 5 reasons for flying local – he isn’t the only one making travel plans this month. Many Central Island residents are also booking flights as winter travel season arrives.

Like St. Nick, residents are making their own lists and checking them twice. But their lists are of things they need to do for their trips and choosing Nanaimo Airport as their vacation starting point allows them to cross off a few items.

Here are five ways travellers get great value from flying local:

  1. Convenience
    The airport is within an easy half-hour’s drive of all central Island communities. Flying out of Nanaimo means no hassles with ferry lineups or sailing waits, and travellers can sleep in their own bed the night before a flight.
  2.  Affordability
    Think that fare at another airport is cheaper? Think again. Travellers using another airport will shell out for gas, ferry fare and probably a night in a hotel. Travellers using Nanaimo Airport save on all of those costs.
  3. Reliability
    Passengers using Nanaimo Airport enjoy a 98 per cent weather reliability rate, thanks to state-of-the-art technology. The airport’s instrument landing system allows nearly all scheduled flights to take off and land in most weather conditions. For travellers, that means they can count on getting where they want to go.
  4. Ease of use
    At large airports, it can take a lot of walking, luggage in tow, to find the baggage check, security, and departure gate. Nanaimo Airport’s compact and well-designed layout puts all those areas within a few steps of the front door.
    And when tired travellers return, the baggage carousel makes their life easy. Its right beside the arrival gate and luggage is usually ready to be picked up within minutes of a flight’s landing.
  5. Connections
    Central Island residents are now just a flight away from sun-soaked destinations, thanks to the endless connections available through Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton. You can leave Nanaimo in the morning and be on a beach for sunset.

Travel questions? Nanaimo Airport has answers

By | Travel Tips, Uncategorized

Like many things on Vancouver Island, travel is a year-round pursuit for residents.

So it’s no surprise that, even at the height of camping season, the most common questions we’re asked at Nanaimo Airport are all about vacation planning. Here are the answers to your questions (full details are at

What identification do I need for air travel?

If you’re aged 12 and above and travelling in Canada, you must have either:

  • one piece of valid government-issued photo ID ;
  • or two pieces of valid government-issued non-photo ID

In all cases, the ID must show your name, date of birth, and gender. If you’re planning international travel, a valid passport is a must. It’s also a good idea to use the Internet to check the customs agency requirements of the country you plan to visit.

How soon before my flight departs should I arrive at Nanaimo Airport?

  • We recommend arriving at least 90 minutes prior to Air Canada Express and WestJet Encore departures. You must have checked in, obtained your boarding pass and checked in all your bags 45 minutes before your flight.
  • Island Express passengers should arrive 30 minutes in advance.

What parking is available?

Nanaimo Airport offers long- and short-term stalls, as well as onsite parking for persons with disabilities. It’s $10 a day for the first 7 days, then $5 per additional day. Check our Parking Information page for full details.

If I don’t want to take my car, how can I get to the airport?

As you’ll see on our Ground Transportation page, you have many options: Nanaimo Airporter Shuttle; AC Taxi and Yellow Cab; and Greyhound bus.

If I check in early, what services are available in the departure lounge?

You can relax as we have plenty of comfortable seating, TVs with news and sports, free Internet, a play area for your kids, and food and beverage services.